Plan B, as some of you may know, has nothing to do with Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria or Lebanon. What it does have to do with is the Food and Drug Administration, and the agency’s decision to reject over the counter sales of morning after contraception pills before FDA’s scientists had even finished their review:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The decision whether the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should approve wider access to a morning-after contraceptive drug was made well before agency scientists finished their final review, two FDA officials said in court documents released on Thursday.

Supporters of over-the-counter sales for Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s Plan B pills have accused top FDA officials of hindering the company’s bid for nonprescription sales for years, to please conservative supporters of President George W. Bush’s administration.

The documents come just days after the FDA said it would reopen discussions over the drug, which can prevent pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of sexual intercourse. The delay had stirred debate over politics and science and held up the confirmation of two agency chiefs.

In a sworn statement in June, Dr. John Jenkins, director of the FDA’s Office of New Drugs, said he learned in early 2004 that then-FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan had decided against approval before the staff could complete their analysis. […]

Another FDA official, who evaluated Plan B, alluded to White House involvement in a deposition given last month.

Dr. Florence Houn said she was also told that in January by Deputy Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock that Plan B needed to be rejected “to appease the administration’s constituents” but that it could be approved later.

Gee, who could have imagined that a radical right wing Republican administration would have interfered with the FDA’s evaluation of a contraceptive medicine already widely in use around the world just to appease their fundamentalist christian supporters?

After all, it’s not like anyone could have predicted arguments against contraception like these would have any impact on the FDA’s independent review:

Opponents say easier access to Plan B will spur promiscuity. Some equate the drug with an abortion pill, although the FDA says it is a contraceptive.

Josh gee whillikers! How could this ever happen in America?

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